New competitive prices

USPS has notified the Postal Regulatory Commission of shipping services price changes to take effect Jan. 21.

The proposed prices were approved by the Postal Service governors this week.

USPS Ground Advantage prices would increase by 5.4 percent, Priority Mail prices by 5.7 percent and Priority Mail Express prices by 5.9 percent.

The Postal Service is also seeking price adjustments for Special Services products, including PO Box rental fees and some international mail services that include Registered Mail and international mail insurance.

The Postal Regulatory Commission will review the prices before they are scheduled to take effect.

Unlike some other shippers, the Postal Service has upfront pricing and does not add surcharges for residential and regular Saturday delivery, or fuel.

The organization also offers flat-rate and cubic pricing options.

The Postal Service continues to offer USPS Ground Advantage — a new ground shipping product that provides a simple, reliable and affordable way to ship packages across the contiguous United States with 2-5 day certain delivery, based on distance.

USPS Ground Advantage comes with $100 insurance included in the price, as well as free pickup on the carrier’s route.

The pricing for USPS Connect Local will remain unchanged. This service provides businesses with affordable same-day and next-day delivery for their local customers.

Driven by the ongoing implementation of the Delivering for America plan, 98 percent of the nation’s population currently receives their mail and packages in fewer than three days.

The Postal Service’s Nov. 15 news release has additional information.

It’s so easy

Postal Service employees can use PostalEASE to enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program or the USPS Health Benefits Plan.

PostalEASE can be accessed from the Benefits Enrollment Changes section of the Open Season LiteBlue page, or by calling the employee service line at 877-477-3273 and selecting option 1. The Federal Relay Service number is 800-877-8339.

Employees will need their employee identification number and password.

To make changes to dental or vision plans, employees must log on to the BENEFEDS website or call 877-888-3337 (TTY: 877-899-5680).

To enroll in a flexible spending account, employees can use the FSAFEDS site or call 877-372-3337 (TTY: 866-353-8058).

Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees on the Open Season LiteBlue page offers guidance on choosing the right plan.

Open season ends Monday, Dec. 11.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snapshot. A snapshot of Postal Service scanning data shows the national rating was 95.56 percent during the week ending Nov. 10, down 0.35% from one week earlier.

The data was collected Nov. 15.

WestPac led the four areas with a rating of 96.18 percent, while Central ranked last with a 94.91 percent rating.

Among the 50 districts, California 6, part of WestPac Area, ranked first with a 97.64% percent rating, while Illinois 1, part of Central Area, ranked last with an 89.04 percent rating.

Scanning data allows customers to track their mail and packages, which helps USPS deliver excellent service, boost loyalty and drive revenue.

To see the latest data, go to the Informed Visibility website and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.” Postal Service employees must request Informed Visibility access through eAccess.

Delivery data. From Oct. 1-Nov. 3, the Postal Service delivered 88 percent of First-Class Mail on time when compared with the organization’s service standard, according to data released last week.

During the same period, USPS delivered 94.6 percent of Marketing Mail and 85.7 percent of Periodicals on time, the figures show.

Stamp sells for $2 million. One of 100 stamp misprints from 1918 depicting an upside-down Curtiss “Jenny” biplane — known by philatelists as an Inverted Jenny — sold at Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries on Nov. 8 for more than $2 million, according to The Washington Post.

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